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martymart

Fork Oil Level Check and Refill W/O Removing the Fork

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I had one fork leak and I cleaned it with some film. Now the the fork is no longer leaking, but how can I check to ensure that I did not loose too much fork oil? Furthemore, if I need to refill, how can I do that without removing the forks?

The bike was sitting in the toy hauler for some time and I had a pool of oil on the floor.

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to check the oil level u need to compress the forks fully and remove the top cap, so with forks installed u have to remove the handlbar. also the forks have to be straight up and down. take the cap off and unscrew it form the damper rod. remove the spring from the tube. oil level is like 5" down from the top of the outer tube. with the damper rod down all the way. i use a piece of tubing and mark the level on it. stick it down the tube till u get to the level u want. suck excess oil up the tube and depending on ho much oil u put in vs. how much u lost it may take a few times. do it to both forks to be sure the level is to spec. dont know if it can be done on the bike, i've always taken them off. if it works great...

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To properly measure it you have to remove the fork. If you don’t want to do that then just use a syringe and squirt in the approximate amount you saw on the floor through the air relief screw or unscrew the cap and pour a little in. Bottom line, unless you remove the fork and do it properly you are going to be guessing.

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Does anyone have an idea for draining forks while they are on the bike?

I just want to go riding for the weekend but am worried about running my forks dry. I'm going to try using a seal saver and clean the dirt out of the seals and reinstall the dust seal and top them up.

What I would like to do is drain both forks and maybe flush them out a little with clean fluid. Then top them up as close to spec as I can. I'll be taking them into the shop in the next few weeks but would like to sneak a few rides in before then.

Any Ideas on a drain and flush??

Can I remove the base valve easily to drain the forks??

If so, do I need the special tool to hold the dampner rod or can I rig something up from stuff in my shed??

Thanks for any help available. I routinely get into engines and trannies, but have yet to dig into a set of forks.....

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Don't waste your time going in from the bottom. You will need a cartridge holding tool. The forks are not that hard to take off and it will be a lot easier.

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It really isn't hard, i just done mine, i changed my springs and had no problem removing the tubes, and evening out the fluid (while i was in there I changed out the stock fluid for some 7weight stuff)

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Hey mountain max, thought i'd ask. How did you like the 7 weight in your bike fork. Did it make a difference for your handling and maybe just a little bit stiffer. I am 195 lbs. and love the feel of routine trails but sometimes get the itch to get some big air. I many times bottom out but will not spend the money to revalve. Did upping to 7 weight help or do you think it will make me loose my sweet routine ride. Thanks, Jason

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Hey Jason, im no suspension pro but IMHO it did make a big difference, just putting in the stiffer springs for me and the valving turned down low would still bottom out easily, but just a few clicks and it was perfect, turned it another bit stiffer and it went way too stiff, so i turned it back to the sweet spot. I like it and would recommend the fluid change, I woudn't waste money yet on valving unless youre hard core, again IMHO, guys don't bash me here.

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Hey Jason, im no suspension pro but IMHO it did make a big difference, just putting in the stiffer springs for me and the valving turned down low would still bottom out easily, but just a few clicks and it was perfect, turned it another bit stiffer and it went way too stiff, so i turned it back to the sweet spot. I like it and would recommend the fluid change, I woudn't waste money yet on valving unless youre hard core, again IMHO, guys don't bash me here.

It's important to name the brand when talking suspension fluids because "w" weights mean very little with suspension fluids. One brand's 2.5w can have the same performance in a suspension application as another brands 10w. As for valving, don't waste your money unless you're older than an '04. Yamaha finally got a clue in '04 and started making valves comparable to Race Tech.

I'm sure some here have seen this but here's a link to some great info on suspensions and suspension oils

http://www.peterverdonedesigns.com/lowspeed.htm

I'll add that I've found some errors in the reported viscosities on the chart but all in all it's pretty accurate.

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Hey Mountain Max,

just an update on my forks. I tried the yamaha 5 weight fluid and it was not good rebound so i changed and went with maxima 5 weight and went with 35cc over and it didnt change my handling in corners over bumbs at all but it did stop my from bottoming out on jumps. I love it and the quality of fluid is so superior to the yamaha fluid that it makes me mad that yamaha even puts it on the shelf (IMO). Thanks, Jason

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